The subject of “baptism” is without doubt one of the most controversial of all Bible teachings

     The subject of “baptism” is without doubt one of the most controversial of all Bible teachings.  Different types of “churches” have varying modes of “baptism.”  Some sprinkle, some pour, and some immerse.  Some baptize infants; others baptize older children and/or adults.  And there are groups which even “baptize” on behalf of those deceased.  Then others tell us it is not an important thing and therefore practice no baptism at all.  History reveals that baptism has been the most divisive issue throughout the present age.  Our Baptist forefathers paid dearly for their stand upon the Bible truth of baptism.  Millions were cruelly put to death just because they refused to have their children “sprinkled,” or dared to stand upon the teachings of God’s Word.  We do not have to face such persecution today – but we ought to be willing to take the same stand upon the truth of the Bible.  You can learn the truth by carefully studying the following Scriptures.  Set aside any preconceived notions and see exactly what the Bible teaches.

 

I.      WHAT IS BAPTISM?

A.     How many kinds of Scriptural baptisms are there?

Ephesians 4:5 __ __ __

B.     What is baptism called in Colossians 2:12?

B__ __ __ __ __

C.     According to Romans 6:4, we are B__ __ __ __ __

in the likeness of Christ’s death by baptism.

D.     Romans 6:5 tells us that baptism pictures a

P__ __ __ __ __ __ __

E.     In your understanding, which action most accurately pictures a burial, or a planting: immersion or sprinkling?

_________________

F.               In Matthew 3:6, where did John the Baptist baptize?                                                                                        

G.    From John 3:23, what was John the Baptist’s

reason for baptizing at a place called Aenon?

Because there was M __ __ __  W __ __ __ __

H.     According to the previous question, what method of baptism does the Bible teach (Sprinkling or immersion)?                                                                      

I.      In Mark 1:10, when Jesus was baptized, what did

He come up out of?  The W __ __ __ __

J.     Look up Acts 8:38-39. When Philip baptized the

Ethiopian, what was the relationship of both men

to the water?

They B __ __ __  went D __ __ __ into the water

K.     From your honest study of these verses of

Scripture, what do you conclude to be the mode of

baptism? (Check one)

        Sprinkling

        Pouring

        Immersion

Having drawn your conclusion, the following information will help reinforce the truth:

1.     The Greek word rendered baptize in your Bible is “baptidzo.”  The meaning of baptidzo is “dip, plunge, immerse, submerge, overwhelm.” ALL reputable Greek scholars (Catholic, Protestant, and Baptist) agree on this point.

2.     Pope Stephen II declared the practice of “pouring” for baptism was valid in the case of sick candidates in the year AD 754.  The Roman Catholic Council of Ravenna, in AD 1311, gave the first official sanction of sprinkling.  Prior to these times, immersion was the mode of baptism. In some Roman Catholic circles, immersion was still practiced as late as the 18th century.

 

II.     WHO SHOULD BE BAPTIZED?

A.     In Acts 2:41, what had those who were first baptized done?                                                                                                                                                   

B.     In Acts 8:12, what had the men and women who

were baptized first done?                                                                                                                                    

C.     In Acts 8:37, what was the requirement for the

Ethiopian’s baptism?                                                                                                                                           

D.     Look up Acts 10:47. A person receives the Holy

Spirit at salvation. What does a person do after

receiving the Holy Spirit?

                Be B __ __ __ __ __ __ __

E.              Look up Acts 16:14-15. What had the Lord done with Lydia before she was baptized?

The Lord O __ __ __ __ __ her H __ __ __ __

F.     Study Acts 16:30-34. What was required of the keeper of the prison and his household before they were baptized?

                B __ __ __ __ __ __ on the L __ __ __ J __ __ __ __

                C __ __ __ __ __

G.    List the three steps of the Corinthians given in Acts 18:8.

H__ __ __ __ __ __ , B__ __ __ __ __ __ __ and

B__ __ __ __ __ __ __

H.     From your honest study of these verses of Scripture, whom do you conclude to be the proper

candidates for baptism? (Check one)

        Babies

        Believers

        Any sincere person

Having drawn your conclusion, the following information will help reinforce the truth:

1.     There is NO evidence of “infant baptism” to be found in the first couple of centuries in church history.  The first recorded instance of “infant baptism” was when the Roman Emperor Valens insisted his dying son be “baptized” – in the year AD 370.

2.     The Catholic Council of Mela made infant baptism “law” in the year AD 416.  It was from this point that the intense persecution of true believers began to be practiced – by other “Christians.”

 

III.     DOES BAPTISM ACCOMPLISH SALVATION?

Many people believe (and are taught) that baptism is a

Sacrament – that is, a “means of God’s grace,” a channel

through which our salvation comes.

A.     Look up Ephesians 2:8. What is the channel of

God’s saving grace? “. . . by grace are ye saved

through F__ __ __ __ . . . .”

B.     What are we NOT saved by? (Ephesians 2:9)

“ . . . Not of W__ __ __ __ , lest any man should

boast.”

C.     Compare Titus 3:5, Ephesians 5:26; and John

17:17. How are our sins “washed away?”

By the W __ __ __ of G __ __ and the H __ __ __

G __ __ __ __

D.     Read Luke 23:32-33, 39-43. One thief was saved.

Was he ever baptized? ________________                

E.     From your honest study of these verses of Scripture, what part does baptism play in your

salvation? (Check one)        

        No part

        Some part

        Absolutely essential

Baptism identifies a person with Christ, but it does not save a person.  If a married person removes their wedding ring from their finger, it doesn’t mean that they are no longer married.  The wedding ring only identified that person as being married.  When a person believes in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and put their full faith in Him alone to saved from sin and Hell, they are saved.  Their baptism is a public profession that they have believed, and it is a recognition that they have died with Jesus and commit to live for Him.

 

IV.    WHAT DOES BAPTISM MEAN?

A.     Look up 1 Corinthians 15:1-4.

1.     What does Paul declare here?

The G__ __ __ __ __ (verse 1)

2.     Where does he ask them to keep it?

In M__ __ __ __ __ (verse 2)

3.     What is the Gospel? “Christ D__ __ __ for our sins, was B__ __ __ __ __, and R__ __ __

A__ __ __ __ (verses 3-4).”

B.     According to Romans 6:5, baptism is called the

L__ __ __ __ __ __ __ of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

C.     In 1 Peter 3:21, baptism is called the L__ __ __

F__ __ __ __ __ .

(Carefully read this verse.  It does not teach that baptism saves anyone; it is that which baptism pictures that saves.  Baptism is the answer or the response of a good conscience.  We receive a good conscience before God when we are saved!)

D.     From your study and consideration of these verses

of Scripture, what would you say baptism is?

(Check one)

        A symbol of the Gospel

        The washing away of sins

 

V.     WHAT DOES BAPTISM MAKE ME?

A.     Baptism does not make you a Christian.

We have already seen that baptism plays no part in

our salvation.  A person is Scripturally baptized AFTER salvation, not before it.

B.     Baptism makes you a church member.

Look up Acts 2:41-42. List the order of events.

R__ __ __ __ __ __ __ (His Word) = Salvation

B__ __ __ __ __ __ __ = Baptism

A__ __ __ __ unto them = Church Membership

C__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ steadfastly = Christian Growth

1.     According to John 3:3-5 the “new birth” is the doorway to eternal life.  According to Acts 2:41 baptism (which follows salvation) is the doorway in the membership of a church (a body of baptized believers).

2.     When you are baptized, you become a member of our church.  As such, you enjoy the rights and privileges of membership which include:

a.     Participation at the Lord’s table for the observance of the Lord’s Supper.

b.     Participation in church business meetings.

c.     Opportunities to effectively serve the Lord through His church here.

3.     As a Baptist you may be interested in knowing the following:

a.     The name “Baptist” is a Biblical name.

It is found 14 times in the New Testament, referring to John the Baptist.  According to Matthew 3:1, John was called a Baptist before he ever baptized anyone.  It is a God-given name.  (He wasn’t called “John the Catholic” or “John the Episcopalian.”)

b.     Christ honored John the Baptist. See Matthew 11:11.  Thus the name “Baptist” is one we can bear unashamedly.

c.     All the apostles received Baptist baptism. This was never repudiated – it was a requirement for the selection of a new apostle to replace Judas Iscariot (see Acts 1:22).

 

VI.    WHO HAS THE AUTHORITY TO BAPTIZE?

A.     The authority to baptize was given to New Testament churches.

Just before our Lord ascended back to Heaven, He left “orders” for His work to be continued.  These orders are given in Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48; John 20:21; and Acts 1:8.  The Lord spoke these words to His disciples.  However, if He gave this commission only to the disciples currently present, then it no longer applies – because they are long dead!  The Lord Jesus Christ gave the Great Commission to His disciples INSTITUTIONALLY – not individually.  That is, the command to go, preach, baptize, and teach all nations was given to His Church.  The disciples comprised the first church. Since the command to “baptize” is contained in the Great Commission, then the authority to baptize has been given to New Testament churches – not to individuals or man-made religious organizations.  The Lord Jesus walked 60 miles (from Galilee, where there was plenty of water, to Judea) to receive baptism from the right authority (John the Baptist).  He obviously considered the authority in baptism to be important.  It is just as important today.

B.     There are four requirements for baptism to be

scriptural:

THE RIGHT CANDIDATE – a believer

THE RIGHT MODE – immersion

THE RIGHT MEANING – a picture

THE RIGHT AUTHORITY – a New Testament church

All those who are baptized into this church are baptized on the authority of this church.  Even though the pastor actually performs the act, he does so on behalf of the church body.

That is why . . .

1.     All those desiring baptism are presented before the church members, and the church votes to receive them into membership upon their baptism.

2.     The church receives members from other New Testament churches of like faith and order by way of a “Letter of Commendation.”

3.     The church does not receive into membership those who have been “baptized” into some man-made religion, “church”, or denomination.  We require Scriptural baptism.

VII.   WHY SHOULD I BE BAPTIZED?

Some people do not hold great importance to baptism –seeing it as either unnecessary, or an “option” of being a

Christian.  On the other hand, the Word of God places great emphasis upon the ordinance.  The Biblical “symbol” of Christianity is baptism...

Not the cross

Not the fish

These later became identifying symbols of Christianity.

They are good symbols, but they do not replace the one God gave – baptism.

Here are some reasons why you should be baptized:

A.     The Lord Jesus Christ was baptized (Matthew 3:13-17).

1.     He came from G__ __ __ __ __ __ to

J__ __ __ __ __ (60 miles) to receive baptism (verse 13). It was important to the Son of God to get baptized.

2.     Jesus said baptism B__ __ __ __ __ __ __ us (verse 15). That is, “it is fitting.”

3.     Jesus used the little word U__ in verse 15, indicating we associate with Him when we

follow Him in baptism.

4.     God the Father was well P__ __ __ __ __ __ when God the Son was baptized (verse 17).

B.     Baptism is a command from the Lord (Matthew 28:19-20).

As noted previously, the command to baptize was given to the Lord’s churches – thus it follows that those who are won to Christ have a duty to be baptized.  Write out John 14:15.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

C.     Baptism is the Bible way.

1.     Look up Acts 2:38.  Here the command is for

E__ __ __ __ O__ __ of you to be baptized.

2.     Acts 8:12 includes both M__ __ and W__ __ __ __ in the act of baptism.

D.     All Christians are exhorted to be faithful in church attendance.

We read of this command in Hebrews 10:25.  Can we properly follow this command and not be a member of a New Testament church, and not be baptized?  No.

IF YOU HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED:

Be sure to record the date of your baptism at the very beginning of these lessons. Write it (along with the date of your salvation) in your Bible.

IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN BAPTIZED:

1.     Write out the question the Ethiopian asked of Philip in the last part of Acts 8:36.

                                                                                                                                                                                                               

2.     In your own words, and in your own situation, answer this question.

                                                                                                                                                                               

3.     Why not decide now to obey the Lord?

 

“Having studied the Scriptures concerning the subject of baptism, and realizing this step is required of me by the Lord, I hereby determine by the grace of God that I will present myself for baptism by coming forward during the invitation at the next service of the church, thus publicly associating myself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and committing myself to active membership in this church.”

 

Signed: _________________________ Date: _________    

 

VIII. WHAT DO I DO TO PREPARE FOR BAPTISM?

“Okay, I’ll get baptized!! What do I do?”

Follow these simple steps:

A.              Come down the aisle during the invitation at the close of the service.  Meet the Pastor, and tell him what you have come for.

B.              The Pastor will lead the church to accept you into its membership upon your baptism.
C.              Your baptism will be scheduled on a Sunday night at your convenience (schedule it now).  Many people use this event as an opportunity to invite unsaved family and friends.  They will hear the gospel presented.  Perhaps they also will receive Christ as Savior.
D.              Bring a change of clothes and a towel to be baptized in.
E.              When you arrive to church on the day of your baptism I will go with you to the dressing room to leave your bag of clothes.
F.               During the first verse of the invitation, go to the dressing room and prepare for baptism.  A church member will be at the dressing room to answer your questions and help you in any way.